Smartphones are expensive. Even when they’re “Free on contract” up front, they generally run $80-100+ per month to use, between voice, messaging and data services. Boost Mobile is known for their low-cost, contract free cellular plans and they’re gearing up to launch a full-on Android device, the Samsung Galaxy Prevail. The phone drops later this month for $179.99 plus tax, no contract required.
Prevail cuts corners when it comes to high-end specs, with its diminutive 3.2-inch, 320 x 480 display and lousy 2MP, fixed focus camera with postage stamp sized video capture. If you can live with those specs, though, what you get is a phone that runs FroYo (Android 2.2), supports 3G data via Sprint’s network, and will only cost you fifty bucks a month on Boost’s Unlimited plan. Actually, Prevail works on the prepaid carrier’s Unlimited with Shrinkage plan, which means that every time you make six payments on-time your monthly fee gets “shrinked” by five bucks. So a year and a half from now, you could have a $35/month unlimited smartphone plan. Which would be dirt cheap by today’s standards, though who knows what the market will look like in the Fall of 2012.
Check out my first hands-on with Galaxy Prevail. And think about it: Is a top-of-the-line Android or iOS phone worth an extra $30-50 per month? That’s $720-$1,200 over the course of two years.